Lake of the Ozarks: Bagnell Dam

Bagnell Dam - Lake of the Ozarks

The Lake of the Ozarks Bagnell Dam is one of the greatest engineering accomplishments of its time. Over 2,500 feet long and taking more than two years to complete makes The Bangell Dam is one of the Lake of the Ozarks biggest attractions. The original design called for thirteen floodgates. However the superstitious officials did not want to risk jinxing the dam with the unlucky number 13 so only twelve were installed. The Bangell Dam is home to an AmerenUE power plant that provides electricity to a substantial part of Missouri makes the Bangell Dam a very important commodity to the state. If you are planning on making the trip to the Ozarks it is strongly recommended that you stop by to see this spectacle.

How Bagnell Dam does it work?

Bagnell Dam - Lake of the Ozarks

Bagnell Dam impounds water from the Osage River to create the Lake of the Ozarks. This stored water serves as the "fuel" for the Osage Power Plant.

When the plant is operating, water flows from the lake through a pipe called a penstock which carries the water to large water wheels called turbines. This failing water spins the turbines, which drive generators and produce electricity.

The electricity leave the plan through transformers connected to giant transmission lines that carry the electricity to AmerenUE customers.

Bagnell Dam - Water Wheel Turbines

Bagnell Dam - Water Wheel Turbines

Bagnell Dam is home to 8 water wheel turbines, 8 electric generators, and 1 small station service unit. The turbines suck the water through the intakes into the generators as the water spills into the river side of the dam. In order for the lake to be created, 54,000 acres of land had to be cleared and many families were forced to relocate. In 1929 most of the family's that were forced to relocate by the creation of the Lake of the Ozarks were too poverty stricken to oppose the inevitable. The new lake would flood their farms and homes, which forced them to take the money offered and leave.

Bagnell Dam - Ringed Billed Gull

The gulls that you see around Bagnell Dam are called ring-billed gulls. If you look closely, or focus with your binoculars, you may see the dark ring. Ring-billed gulls are the most common gull that spend the winter here. They catch small fish swimming in the river.

Bagnell Dam - Ringed Billed Gull

Bagnell Dam - Bald Eagle

An adult bald eager has a white head and tail. "Balde" is the old English word for white. Bald eagles may be seen commonly along the Osage River in winter. They catch and eat fish found in the river below Bagnell Dam.

Bagnell Dam - Bald Eagle

Bagnell Dam - Great Blue Heron

The gray-blue color and size of this wading bird makes it easy to identify. It can often be seen standing motionless at the edge of the water, as it waits for the perfect moment to snatch up a small fish.

Bagnell Dam - Great Blue Heron

Bagnell Dam - Scenic Overlook

Bagnell Dam - AmerenUE Logo - Scenic Overlook

In 1998, AmerenUE dedicated a new scenic overlook on a hill overlooking Bagnell Dam. This vantage point, located on Upper Power Plant Road, provides a spectacular view of the lake, s historic photographs showing how the Osage River valley looked from that same location before the dam was built. The entrance to Upper Power Plant Road is about one mile north of Bagnell Dam in Business Route 54.

Working with the Missouri Department of Conservation, AmerenUE has also developed a fish and bird observation area along a walkway leading to the Osage Plant's main office on the downstream side of Bagnell Dam.

Bagnell Dam - Scenic Overlook

Bagnell Dam - Photo opportunities

Bagnell Dam - Photo Opportunities

Bagnell Dam Strip "The Strip"

Bagnell Dam - Bagnell Dam Strip

If you love to shop or just like to browse you should check out The Bagnell Dam Strip at the Lake of the Ozarks. With over 75 stores that include clothing, collectibles & crafts, shoes, jewelry, home, yard, and other amusements you are sure to find what ever you are looking for. Get the perfect keepsake or gift for a friend or family member and get great exercise at the same time. If you work up an appetite while shopping the Bangell Dam Strip offers 20 different restaurants and places to snack. With a fireworks display every Saturday night plus many amusements open until midnight the Lake of the Ozarks Bangell Dam Strip has something fun for the whole family.

Bagnell Dam - Video